The Time of year has come for Top Tens from every corner of the music world. Magazines, websites, social media. Be it Journalists, Musicians or Fans. Well guess what I am totally OK with that as I have mine here as well. It’s a bit of a conglomeration (what a word by the way) as its artists or songs that have impacted on me or the show in someway.
The full year in review will take place on the show starting on the 3rd of January 2018.
10/ Jess and the Bandits
The release of Smoke and Mirrors was a revelation to me, a truly Anglo American mix with the bandits being from the UK and Jess being from the U.S. The album makes it easily onto my top ten as its a foot tapping, dance along, string of well written, produced and performed tracks that makes any journey fly by.
9/ Drake White
Drake White is a strange entity if you ask me, when i first heard his track Livin’ The Dream i felt he was going to straight to the Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett side of the Genre. I thankfully persisted with him and sat myself down to take in the whole of the ‘Spark’ album, a decision that turned my opinion of him on its head. Now before some groups of fans jump down my throat I am in no way slating the aforementioned artists but after hearing ‘Story’ and the clincher ‘Makin’ Me Look Good Again’ its clear he will transcend the genre with ease from its pop-classic sounding- country blues.
8/ Cam- Diane
Ask anyone about my opinion on the second single released from Cam on the ‘My Mistake’ album in 2015 and they will tell you I raved about it for probably a lot longer than i should have. Roll on 2017 and I am doing it all over again but this time the track is completely different upbeat tempo and the story telling element is almost a pleading argument with the titled ‘Diane’.
7/ Katee Kross
This 20 year old singer from Bishopbriggs in Glasgow shows a maturity beyond her years in her chosen topics and writing in her music. With her third self funded album due for release in 2018, I had the pleasure of discussing all manner of things with her and got to play her latest track ‘Buebird’ prior to its release in December 2017 and in doing so guaranteed a fan for life in me.
If you are one of the very few left on this spinning globe that hasn’t listened to Midland, What is your issue?? genuine artists harking back to classic country times in their sound with an album that flows so well it is difficult to stop and get on with your day.
Special mentions at this point go to all the stations that take the show all around the world. Also to the artists that have contributed over the past year sending new releases and agreeing to do interviews and for the future to come in and do live sessions. We aim to showcase as much as we can, it’s not all about the established artists for us.
5/ Adam Wakefield Blame It On Me
A name that doesn’t conjure much to many people in the UK and Europe as he gained fame from appearing on ‘The Voice US’ eventually taking the runner up spot in Season 10. Far from being a reality TV find, Adam has had a long history with music initially in the Jazz market before making the move across to where he currently comfortably resides in the Country/Soul niche. ‘Blame It On Me’ is one of the top contenders for song of the year for me, it struck a chord with me in first time hearing it.
4/ Glen Campbell
On the 8th of August 2017 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, Glen Campbell passed away. The man was, is and always will be a Legend in the Country music world. Growing up I heard a lot of Glen Campbell so in many ways he formed my love of music. A born performer who will be sadly missed by all. Choosing what to play for this Goliath is so difficult as there is so much out there but fittingly I have chosen a track from his 64th and final studio release.
3/ Darius Rucker
As a long time fan of Hootie and the Blowfish it was only natural that when front man Darius Rucker moved into the Country Genre I was going to be a fan from word go. In this whirlwind of a radio it has brought me many opportunities but none higher than being able to chat (and try not and fanboy too much) with one of my musical heroes. Chatting about his latest album ‘When Was The Last Time’, Country 2 Country and smaller UK venues that he used to appear at with Hootie was the icing on an interview cake.
2/ Old Dominion Live
Being offered an interview is always a nice thing, when it’s a band like Old Dominion or OD as they are now affectionately known its a great thing. I have always liked their work, well maybe not so much ‘New York At Night’. Now listening to their music on a CD and seeing them live are two massively different things. A clear sign of over production because live they are one of the top acts i have EVER seen.
1/ Welcome Home
The fifth album release from Georgia band Zac Brown Band saw them return to a very stripped back country affair, an album that’s written and performed with honesty and emotion. I listened to this song over and over and for a time couldn’t make it to the end with out welling up and shedding a tear or two. For someone who is a father to a young child I am also a son who lost his father when he was in his early teens ‘My Old Man’ hit me on every level possible, the sentiment is one I hold dearer than I often admit.